From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
The Shangev-Tiev Assembly (STA) has called for an immediate withdrawal of a scandalous and incriminating statement by a group known as Coalition of Benue State Civil Society for Peace and Good Governance linking its members to banditry.
STA warned that if this is not done within 48 hours, it would not hesitate to take appropriate legal action against the publishers of the story.
While stressing that the said statement by the group was a deliberate attempt to malign the Assembly, the STA explained that the acclaimed Coalition of Benue State Civil Society for Peace and Good Governance had published in a national daily (not Sun) that no one was killed in an alleged reprisal by the military on Konshisha rural communities.
The STA statement which was signed by Yima Iwaga, Zack Wade PhD, Bemgba Anjembe PhD, Jude Tyoh, David Wayas PhD and Kamnan Moses, wondered why an acclaimed CSO would suddenly become the mouthpiece of the military and allege that no one was killed in the mayhem unleashed by the military on the defenceless people of Shangev Tiev.
“The (CSO) group also commended the Nigerian Military for unleashing terror on the civilians and further urged them to “sustain the onslaught” on the people of Shangev -Tiev and even went ahead to describe the Shangev-Tiev Assembly as a group of bandits and “a media department of the slain Gana-led militia,” the Assembly stated.
The STA posited that as an assembly of intellectuals, technocrats and entrepreneurs, the Shangev Tiev Assembly has granted interviews on television and has made recorded Press Conferences which have received very wide coverages, both locally and internationally and challenged the two leaders of the purported Coalition of Benue State Civil Society for Peace and Good Governance to appear on television as they have done to prove their genuine identities.
“We have also copied and circulated our petition, duly signed, to Amnesty International, Human Rights Commission and to the Mutual Union of Tiv in America (MUTA) that no amount of peddled falsehood would deter us from fighting against any planned pogrom in whatever guise against the people of Shangev Tiev.
“Accordingly, anyone who harases any member of our Assembly in the course of protecting the Shangev Tiev people should be ready to wrestle with the stiff arm of the law. We also make bold to challenge anyone who doubts the authenticity of our identity to make a legal case in the court of law and we shall eagerly prove that we have a face,” the STA stated.